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Magic City
Morning Star

Millinocket Stream Cleanup

If you have read the news item about Millinocket Stream, and if you have viewed the photos in A Walking Tour of Millinocket Stream, then you know that something needs to be done.

If we are going to survive without the mill, we have to do something about the things within our community that may cause someone not to want to move here.

Millinocket Stream,  now a detriment, has a potential of becoming a major asset.

Itís easy to blame the past owners of the mill, and itís reasonable to do so, but assigning blame doesnít get the problem fixed.

It would be easy to blame the town, and it is reasonable to believe that town officials looked the other way while the stream was polluted through the years.

But letís not forget that the mill has been our largest taxpayer; and that, directly or indirectly, Great Northern Paper Company employed most of the people in this town. Had the town interfered with the operations of the mill, weíd have been angry with them for that.

Throwing blame around doesnít fix the problem.

Quite frankly, the town doesnít have the funds to pay for a clean up.

Oh, it would be nice if Lambert Bedardís assets and those of Inexcon could be seized, and perhaps Bowater and anyone else who profited most from the pollution of Millinocket Stream, and if that money could be used to pay for a clean up


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But I donít think itís going to happen, and waiting around for it wouldnít be in our best interests.

We need to fix the problem, and I know that I am not alone in this realization.

Councilors Matt Polstein and Gail Fanjoy visited Millinocket Stream while I was there speaking to John DiCentes, and they both expressed an interest in trying to find a solution to the problem.

Mr. Conlogue has suggested that the town and Public Works would be willing to cooperate with a volunteer effort to clean  up Millinocket Stream.

Maybe there are grants, or other funds available to assist in this effort.

As good citizens, perhaps the new owners of what is now Katahdin Paper might be persuaded to assist in some way.

Letís not forget that Brascan did not create this mess, but neither did I or most of the rest of us.

Iím not an environmentalist, and Iím not an activist, but Iíd much rather be involved in an effort to fix a problem than to simply complain about in these pages.

I donít yet know quite how to go about organizing an effort to clean up Millinocket Stream, but I suspect that it starts with asking if anyone is willing to help.

Are you?

-- Ken Anderson 06/02/03